Overfeeding Puffers

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casinoqueen

Post by casinoqueen »

I am a new F8 puffer owner. Not quite a week. I have other tanks but they are bettas, guppies, and cory's. In the puffer tank, I have a raphael cat, a cory cat, and a big lipped small pleco. So far so good. I have learned a lot from this site. My immediate problem is the over feeding thing. It isnt intentional. The store I purchased them from fed them frozen brine shrimp. Even when I try to be frugal with the food there is still a certain amount that floats to the bottom while they are trying to eat it. Also, how do you get rid of the odor of the water? How often do I need to change the water? I stir up the bottom every other day with a turkey baster so the filter sucks up the debris. I really want to take care of these fish. They are sooo fun. I read on your site they like live ghost shrimp. I bought 5 (five for a dollar, ha) and put them all in the tank...I didnt exactly know what to expect. Well....I got my answer. My puffers looked like they were going to explode! I guess 2.5 shrimp per puffer is not a good thing, ha.

Thank you again for your site. It has been very informative.

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Boxermom
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Post by Boxermom »

Welcome! How big is the tank? You are going to need a separate tank for the F8, as they need low end brackish and your cats/pleco won't do well in brackish water.

The water shouldn't smell. If it does, there's something going on that needs to be taken care of. Water changes of 30-50% should be done weekly at a minimum, IMO, more often in smaller tanks. Stirring the bottom with a turkey baster isn't sufficient IMO. You need to do a very thorough gravel vacuuming with a siphon, especially with the messy fish you have.

Brine shrimp is not a good diet, they have almost no nutritional value. Start training them on frozen mysis shrimp, frozen bloodworms, live blackworms, etc. There's a great food article in the library. But get them off those brine shrimp as soon as you can. Ghost shrimp and anything else alive should be quarantined for 2-4 weeks before using as food and should be gut-loaded as well.
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Becs
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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by Becs »

wow :shock: I am SO glad I joined here before I set up my puffer tank. I would have almost certainly killed mine from over-feeding had I not read this :(

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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by Pufferpunk »

Yup, great lil beggars they are!
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

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CtHM
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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by CtHM »

I need to feed my DP's less or something. I'm almost to the point I'm not sure what to do! I feed my puffers once every other day, and I try to keep it to 3 bloodworms each, but my bigger girl puffer ALWAYS steals food from the other two, and she is fat, and the others are skinny. It makes me sad =[ And I don't even have another tank I can set up and cycle for just her. >.o

She overeats, and you can tell.
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Pufferpunk
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2 T biocellatus
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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by Pufferpunk »

You're going to have to feed them all more food then or the other 2 will starve.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by foxx1 »

CtHM wrote:my bigger girl puffer ALWAYS steals food from the other two, and she is fat, and the others are skinny.
I have the same problem in my tank! Except, it's the youngest female that over eats and steals food! They all steal food, but she is especially quick and good at hunting for snail in my tank. It's ridiculous... I actually get angry at it for being so fat. I have 3 others DPs in the tank, 1 large hi-fin, 3 small otos, 6 small red-eyed tetras and a ghost shrimp (of which I will be getting more so they can help me "clean" the tank). It's been this set up for weeks now, and they all get along. When I first introduced ghost shrimps they just looked at it for a bit and swam away. I lost a few and have seen them pick at one dead ghost shrimp before but not bothering to eat it all up, just tasting and swimming away.

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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by KJB »

Concerning feeding.My tank was set up in advance for a puffer. Thanks to the plants I know it has a good little population of small snails and I through in 5 ghost shrimp from my main tank that my Loaches ignore. Is it a good practice to keep live food in the tank like that? Does it promote the puffer to just hunt and gorge itself? I noticed that my Puffer is actively hunting (in under 4 hours of being purchased ( :shock: :lol: ). Normally the lunges are a swing and a miss so is there really a threat of over feeding from this? I want to always keep some live shrimp and snails in the tank to supplement my puffs diet and clean up left overs and algae.
20 gallon on its way to being heavily planted with one Monotrete Cochinchinensis and RCS as snacks/clean up crew - Puff tank
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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by apachepufferman »

Just keep an eye on how fast the shrimp and snails are found to be "missing" :). If he eats them really fast then you would want to not keep that many in the tank. If he never eats them then you need to feed him your bloodworms and such. You will learn your puffer's moods and behaviors over the next couple weeks and you will just get in a rythem with him. If he does eat the shrimp out then you might wanna wait a day or so before you put more in.

With the snails though mine will bury themselves into the substrate to clean up or just hide so if they all go away say overnight then I would just try to see if they are buried. Mine all come out at night so if you checked after lights out then you will know how your snail population is doing compared to you puffers hunger.
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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by KJB »

OK I think during night one I lost one shrimp or two. The ones in the tnak all range from not quite an inch to 2 inches. My puffer is about 2 1/2 long and looks to be pretty stocky. As for the snails I havent seen any disapeer yet. So I think at this rate the shrimp may be gone by monday which seems to be ok...

So as long as they aren't all disappearing or all still their I should leave it be? If the Puff eats them all I will not do any additional feedings for a day or two. If they are there I may try a bit of frozen prawn or some frozen bloodworms. Sound like a good approach?

Side note: I totally hope all the shrimp are gone my Barbs and Loaches almost never unleashed the fury on them so it was endless multiplying.
Last edited by KJB on Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
20 gallon on its way to being heavily planted with one Monotrete Cochinchinensis and RCS as snacks/clean up crew - Puff tank
40 gallon South American Planted Tank.

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apachepufferman
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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by apachepufferman »

yeah if your puff doesn't constantly have the bloated stomach look then you should be good. All my puffers quite eating before any of my other fish. My arrowhead has left 2 ghost shrimp in his tank for over a week now. He just goes for the guppies now. My fahaka though WILL gorge himself till he bursts at the seams i have to watch him but my other 14 puffers all stop eating when their tumies get slightly round.

I think you got it under control
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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by LadyLuck »

We threw in a dozen ghost shrimp almost a week ago and most are still there. Turns out the little buggers are so fast it takes a while for our three puffs to catch them. Watching the hunt is pretty awesome and sometimes we sit for a good couple hours at a time watching and cheering the puffers on.

The snails we have to keep in a container and just drop a couple in every once in a while. When we first started feeding snails they would actually hit the bottom, then have time to crawl about halfway up before being eaten. Now they don't even make it to the bottom before they are literally crunched. If you sit quietly you can hear the crunching. :shock:

Our GSPs will not stop eating when they are full (I think I posted somewhere else about our overeater) and I have to constantly remind my husband to stop feeding them so much. Their little bellies will start to swell but as long as they can see food they're gonna eat. Typically I'll watch them eat and when I can see they are full I'll scoop out the leftovers. However, I'm not sure if this lead to the eating of the guppy and sunset. :(

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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by bazil323 »

Another solution to keep a thief from getting all the food is to get a tank divider. It's just a piece of acrylic or other tank safe material that can be placed vertically to make two areas. Just make sure the puff is on one side while the rest of the fish are on the other.

Or you can get those "specimen containers" (they are like the cups that fish stores hang on a tank while they dip out your fish), and put the offending fish in there while the others eat.

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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by StormySkiez »

At one point I had to use my net to keep the puffers away from each other while feeding. It's sometimes scary how big their bellies can get. You know you over fed if their bellies are bigger then the rest of their body. :shock: :scared:
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Re: Overfeeding Puffers

Post by bazil323 »

Oh yeah! My F8 had two good sized ghost shrimp in his tank for three weeks, so I'd been feeding him normally on other foods. Then one day just a couple of hours after he'd eaten, he attacked both shrimp! He ate one completely and ate half of the other! I nearly thought that he was going to explode! Scared me to death. But he buzzed around the tank and slowly digested down to normal size. I hate to think what would happen should he turn on his 8 bbg tank mates!

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